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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

384       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

progress in theory or practice. It is this that has led to the
institution of experimental schools like those of Professor Dewey
and Dr. Montessori, in which new views of education can be put
to the test of experience and developed in accordance with the
results actually obtained in practice. And it underlies the nascent
science of experimental pedagogy, which is the first distinctive
contribution of the Twentieth Century to educational advance-
ment, in its attempts to establish by a rigorously exact mathe-
matical procedure sure conclusions regarding didactic methods
and the nature of the learning mind.

3. NEO-HERBARTIANISM

Herbart's pedagogy owed its first success to the fact that it was
peculiarly adapted to the organizing genius of the German people.
The statesmen of his age needed a system of education capable
of directing the people to national ends, and Herbart met the
need. Conceiving of education as a process of mind-making under
the control of the educator, he provided definite principles for the
selection and arrangement of the materials of instruction, and
suggested a well-ordered method for the imparting of the know-
ledge likely to produce the required effect. But in the reaction
that followed the period of reconstructive activity, interest in
education declined and Herbart's doctrines began to lose their
hold. No disciples had arisen to carry on the work of translating
his system into practical form, and it seemed for a time as if the
system were to begin and end with himself. By good fortune,
however, Karl Volkmar Stoy (1815-1885) came under his influence
in the closing years of his life, and not only expounded the
principles of the master in the lectures delivered by him in the
university of Jena, but established a demonstration school like
Herbart's own, where these principles were put into operation.
In this way, though giving no fresh contribution to educational
theory himself, Stoy made Herbartianism once more a living
force in German education and extended its influence throughout
Europe.

Somewhat later Tuiskon Ziller (1817-1882), the most out-
standing of Herbart's exponents, building on the foundation of
Stoy's work, re-created the Herbartian doctrines in the form in